First Looks

Antarctic_Ice

Cracks in the sea ice from 39,000 ft about 1.5 hours north of McMurdo.

LC-17 Globemaster and Mt Erebus in the background

LC-17 Globemaster after landing at Pegasus Field with Mt Erebus in the right background.

Gerstoft_at_MacTown

Co-Principal Investigator Dr Peter Gerstoft is enjoying the mild weather!

 

Flights to McMurdo: The C-17

Flights into Antarctica for the U.S. Antarctic Program are conducted by the 13th Air Force’s Operation Deep Freeze, flying C-17 transport planes from Christchurch, NZ to ice landing fields near McMurdo Station.

They’re big.

C-17 offloading a helicopter at Pegasus Field. (Photo: Dominick Dirksen/NSF)
C-17 offloading a helicopter at Pegasus Field. (Photo: Dominick Dirksen/NSF)

Lt. Col. Ed “Hertz” Vaughan blogs about Operation Deep Freeze and a season stationed at McMurdo in Dispatches from Antarctica. Flight to the Ice describes the flight from Christchurch to McMurdo.

Heading south

We’re scheduled to checking wearing our cold weather gear (see pics) at 10:30AM today (Saturday, we’re 4 hours behind California time and one day ahead). It’s about a 5 hr flight in the C-17 plane that will be taking us south — the workhorse transport plane.

Time to get ready to move…

We'll be wearing full cold weather gear when we board the "ice flight" -- might get toasty...
We’ll be wearing full cold weather gear when we board the “ice flight” — might get toasty…

There are a variety of cold weather gear to choose from. What you wear depends on how severe the weather is.
There are a variety of cold weather gear to choose from. What you wear depends on how severe the weather is.

IMG_1018

“ice flight” tomorrow — hopefully!

It’s been a busy few days in Christchurch, NZ getting ready for travel down to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Yesterday we were outfitted with our cold weather gear, which we’ll be wearing when we board the plane for our ice flight — hopefully tomorrow.

Weather conditions at McMurdo determine whether we will be on the ice tomorrow. If the weather turns bad (often wind conditions can become to severe), it’s possible that we’ll be forced to turn around and “boomerang” back to Christchurch.

Still no confirmation that we’ll be heading south…

McMurdo Weather

Current conditions and live webcam at McMurdo are linked on the sidebar at right –>

The team is scheduled to fly from Christchurch to McMurdo 31 October. They only fly when the visibility is good. Forecast looks good!

More detailed conditions can be found on Weather Underground, McMurdo.

October 27, 2014 6:00 PM UTC

Temperature -8° C 18° F
Wind Chill -15° C 5° F
Wind Speed 10 knots

2014 Field Season

McMurdo Station from the air. [Reinhart Piuk / NSF]
McMurdo Station from the air. [Reinhart Piuk / NSF]

Stay tuned for updates from McMurdo and the Ross Ice Shelf.

2014 Field Season:
(approximate dates dependent on weather)

Oct 31 – Nov 9: McMurdo Station
Nov 10 – Dec 1: Ross Ice Shelf: Yesterday Field Camp, instrument deployment.
Dec 6: Depart from McMurdo to Christchurch, NZ

The team will operate from the temporary Yesterday Camp on the ice near the dateline (180° longitude) from Nov. 10 to Dec. 1, installing nearby stations with snowmobile transits and more distant stations by fixed-wing Twin-Otter flights. Deployment operations and the duration at Yesterday Camp will depend heavily on the weather, which even in summer conditions can be severe with high winds and sub-zero temperatures.

scripps oceanography uc san diego